Why Planning a Backpacking Trip is So Essential?

Backpacking is a leisure that anyone can do. But only a few brave souls try it. Anyone of us can attest that we have already experienced camping. But when it comes to backpacking, only a couple might be able to raise their hands confidently.

If you want to discover and lavish the secrets of the outdoors, then do backpacking once in a while. The wilderness can certainly overwhelm your senses and body. It is far different from just sitting and being idle on campsites with other people. You can easily test your endurance and thirst for adventure if you are courageous enough to leave your tent.

But if you are a first timer, things might appear too complicated for you. After all, backpacking is not as simple as weekend camping. It takes a lot of planning before you can successfully accomplish this task. You have to plan the route that you are going to take and the gears that you have to bring. Of course, you should also devise your survival plan if in case things will get bad out there.

These are some of the things that you have to do before you can confidently trek any of your desired destinations. You have no other choice but to do these preparatory steps if you want to ensure the smoothness of your upcoming excursion.
But really? Why planning a backpacking trip is so essential?

Budget and Scheduling

Backpacking is not just about going through harsh and unexplored terrains. Before you can get to your starting point, you have to secure your time availability and budget. You can never hike or trek liberally if your schedule is constrained. The time restriction is a harrowing factor that drastically lessens the quality of your time on the field.
You need to plan ahead so that you find a generous schedule that you can do backpacking. In fact, extensive planning is necessary if you are going to trail a distant and elaborate route. What is the appropriate number of days that you should spend on backpacking? There’s no correct answer to this question. All I can say is that you just have to dedicate an ample time that you can complete your selected route. Don’t be too hasty. Otherwise, you will be missing a lot of fun.

Also, planning will allow you to mitigate your expenses. Although backpacking usually involves nothing but your feet, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to spend anything. Surely, you might have already invested in the proper equipment for this type of endeavor. However, you still have to mind the fees and permits that will be incurred on the site. If you are going to the rendezvous with your vehicle, you have to budget your fuel, too.

Getting caught off guard with these expenses is quite annoying. Even if you are someone that can spend freely, paying for something that you are not prepared can throw you off your balance.

Survival

One of the biggest reasons why you need to plan for your next backpacking trip is for your survival. Even if the day seems fine and bright, you can’t still conclude that it will continue that way. Always remember that you are away from your comfort zone. Moreover, you are also far from medical and emergency services when you are in the middle of the forest or on the top of a treacherous mountain. If things go wrong there, getting back to safety is hard. In fact, your chances of perishing there are quite high.

But this predicament should not scare you. Aside from planning your camping checklist, it is also necessary that you have a contingency plan for emergency situations. You need to sketch out your next course of action if you get on the bad side of things. Of course, the planning should include the acquisition of important survival amenities such as first aid kits and emergency food supply.

Grooming Your Experience Level

Backpackers vary in experience level. I can confidently say that I am better than other people. But at the same time, I humbly concede to the fact that some seasoned backpackers can outpace me. That is completely normal and should not hurt your ego. After all, the time that we dedicate to this activity can somehow become a major factor in the development of your backpacking skills.

The reason why you need to plan is to ensure that your experience level can be accommodated. You cannot just agree on a route that is too difficult for your physical and psychological capacities, right. Nobody wants to go on an impromptu trip on unfamiliar terrain. It will lessen your comfort and overall enjoyment of the sojourn.
Amateur backpackers can bring their camping fans and other modified amenities. These items can provide them with utmost convenience even if they are away from their home. If the route or destination is not very challenging, taking these gears is a viable idea. But if the planned trail is something that can test your endurance and strength, bringing extra items can toil you severely. It is okay to haul additional stuff if you are a pro already. But for beginners, that is not something that I will encourage.
Your experience level decides the route and items that you can bring. If possible, you have to train or condition your body weeks before the actual trip. In this way, you can acclimatize your physique and make it as fit as possible.

Final Wrap

It is not only backpacking that requires planning. Every outdoor activity requires this technical and rational approach to prepare your stuff for the big day. I do not recommend that you should go out on an outdoor adventure that is not properly planned. You will suffer from panic and other “surprises” that can whittle down the satisfaction and enjoyment that you should feel. Always be ready whenever you are planning a backpacking trip.
Does this article make sense to you? I am open to your questions and suggestions. Just drop them in the comment section below, and I will provide quick feedback!

Sources:
BackCountry Infographic
Bear Foot Theory Trip Planning

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About the Author: Paul Watson

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